Elevator People

Today it was a revelation
As I stood and watched on the faces
Of those standing beside me
Life in all its forms

In the glowing joyous face of the young husband
Newly made a father

On the somber pensive face of the woman
Middle-aged, tired, wearying
Recently jobless

In the sparkling eyes of the fresh-from-college
Girl, ready to defend and defy
Now a young lawyer

On the hollow cheeks of the old man
Bent and tired
Without his helpmeet

In the curious eyes of the small boy
Grasping a hand
A year older

On the plump cheeks of the newborn
She giggles
Just brought into the world

I stood watching these faces
Pass by
Pass through
Their bodies alternately
Singing, dancing, crying, shaking,
Rising, falling, leaping, tottering,
Stepping forward
In and out
These faces of life that hum with fire and with ashes
Elevator People